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Ethel Ennis: If Women Ruled the World

For some folks, chasing the rainbows of “stardom” simply isn’t in the cards. Such is the case with Baltimore’s jazz singing treasure Ethel Ennis. Largely eschewing the limelight, Ennis had a jazz club for a time in the “Charm City,” yet she has never chosen to be a roadrunner for any length of time. This is her first recording date in quite awhile and she takes great advantage of the opportunity, laying down 12 sparkling tracks that are a choice mixture of standards, one original, and several selections from diverse and distinctive women, including Billie Holiday, Joan Armatrading, Joni Mitchell, Tracy Chapman, Carole King, and Bonnie Raitt-thus the title. Though one could also make a case for the title in the case of Ethel and a couple of potent horn soloists, most notably trumpeter-flugelhornist Ingrid Jensen and two cameos on soprano sax from Jane Ira Bloom.

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